Richard Dawkins' highly critical documentary attacks the pulsing heart of all mainstream religion- faith; with special focus on Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Contains repeated ... See full summary »
Letting Go of God is a humorous monologue by Julia Sweeney chronicling her search for God. She begins in the Catholic church, the religion her family raised her in, and takes a Bible study ... See full summary »
It's great to see that science and reason has its own Michael Moore in Richard Dawkins. It's not just cool and amusing, but downright triumphant to see him ridicule and expose "alternative" medicine and other wholesale hoaxes. More power to him.
And yet - I'm not really that big a Dawkins disciple. I think he focuses too much on reason in his own reasoning. Now, I'm certainly an atheist and a science-minded person and all that, but Dawkins' critique of religion almost exclusively hinges on how irrational it is. Well, sure it's irrational! Religion is about emotion. It's about fear and insecurity, much of which is very understandable in the life situations of the faithful, who frequently have very tough lives (esp. in earlier historical periods, but also today). Yet Dawkins doesn't address this at all. He doesn't really cut to the heart of the matter; he only talks about what's rational. So it's kind of only addressing half the issue, but, all right, that's entertaining too.
As for something like homeopathy; well, it's certainly a bunch of nonsense, but, what's at work there is the placebo effect, and maybe this actually helps a lot of people. People who're insecure and have a deteriorating health because of it, might react well to assurances that this substance or that will help them, and their very belief in it will make it work - at least to some degree. I agree that it would be better if their problems could be solved in better ways, but as long as they can't be, the placebo effect is a useful and good form of medicine. Once social circumstances start improving (as we have to hope they will), maybe such things won't be necessary anymore, but can be replaced with real medicine (if needed).
Still, despite Dawkins' uncompromisingly rational outlook, I think he's on the right path and I hope he does more programs like this. He needs to look into emotion, though.
9 out of 10.
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